Another poisonous “welcome” for the Egyptian Vultures in Greece?

11.05.2014

May Day is usually a happy day. People from all around the world celebrate the arrival of spring according to the traditions of their countries. In many countries, including Greece, it is also the International Workers’ Day. However this year, it turned out not to be a day for celebration for the HOS team members. An adult Egyptian Vulture was found in bad condition by the Forestry Service of Kozani (North of Greece) and everybody feared a new case of poisoning.

With the help of Arcturos - an NGO working for the conservation of the Brown Bear in Greece - the bird was taken to the Wildlife First Aid Centre in Kastoria, and from there it was sent to ANIMA, a Wildlife Rescue Centre in Athens. The bird has since then been under veterinary care and seems to be recovering. The exact cause of its poor health condition is still under investigation, but a light poisoning seems to be the most plausible explanation. Hopefully, the bird will recover fully and will soon be able to be released back into the wild where it belongs.

As we have denounced previously, the illegal use of poison is the number one cause of the decline of the last Egyptian vultures in Greece, also affecting negatively the populations in other Balkan countries. Ironically, the bird saved on this occasion is in fact originally from Bulgaria, where it had been ringed as a chick in the nest in 2010. The same bird was observed at the vulture feeding station in Dadia National Park in August 2012. This is the second proved case within the frames of the LIFE project when bird originating from Bulgaria was found in Greece during the breeding season. Egyptian vultures, when reaching adulthood in their 5th calendar year, look for new territories to establish themselves. This is what brought this individual to Greece, so far from its original place of birth. Once again, as in the case of Lazaros, our welcome wasn’t particularly “warm”…

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Where is B14?

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe